Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training will be held at the Newtown/Harris School from 5-8:30 p.m., on Dec. 4.

According to Sullivan County Director of Emergency Management, Dennis Goldsmith, there will be three subsequent training evenings for a total of 16 hours of instruction. The training is open to all persons and is free of charge.

The CERT program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

High School students are highly encouraged to attend this training as CERT training is a national program and enables individuals to carry their training with them to any community.

“This training teaches you readiness and response skills,” Goldsmith said. “The training will involve hands-on practice and realistic exercises which will prepare you for the unexpected in your community.”

Successful graduates will be issued a backpack that contains numerous emergency responder items such as a hardhat, gloves, safety vest, safety glasses and many first aid items.

“These newly learned leadership skills will empower you to safely respond to an emergency and assist victims without endangering yourself or others. You’ll be equipped with skills that last a lifetime,” Goldsmith said.

To reserve your seat for this class you must call or email the Sullivan County Emergency Management Agency Director, Dennis Goldsmith, at (660) 265-5619 or email him at Reserving a seat for the class will not commit you to attending the class, but ensures that there is enough material for prospective attendees.